TECHNOLOGY UPDATE: The Ersatz Drinking Cup

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TECHNOLOGY UPDATE: The Ersatz Drinking Cup

An inside glimpse at what's new in emerging technologies

by Stephen Drew with research assistance from Lois Malone

 


Basic structural features of the Ersatz drinking cup: 1) voice activator; 2) ergonometric vertical handle subassembly; 3) incipient digital i/o devices; 4) base-neutral calibration array; 5) temperature readout (Kelvin/Centigrade switchable); 6) 62-function timer assembly; 7) flux denoument level; 8) tilt/freeze indicator 9) inertial guidance device; 10) perpetual day/date calendar readout. Design and renderings by Lois Malone / Rich & Famous Graphics.

The trusty drinking cup has defied centuries of attempts to improve it. The long vigil is soon to end.

Dr. Ernest Ersatz, formerly of Miss Porter's School and currently Scholar in Residence at the Polybdinum Institute (La Paz), has enlisted the aid of colleagues in a variety of fields. Seventeen years of intensive design and testing, followed by theoretical work, has produced a drinking cup that represents the ultimate in simple sophistication.

The unit is fully assembled from over 50 die-cast metal and plastic parts. Levers, buttons, sensors, a multiprocessor and a sending unit all are comprised of virtually unbreakable polycarbonate. Advanced coatings provide 98% UV protection for the built-in light-emitting diode (LED). A solid oak case and six electro-mechanical oscillators provide swirling action that is fully synchronized with a gyro-controlled tilt indicator. Slide-in software cards can be activated at the touch of a button or (as a fully-loaded option) at the flip of a switch. The housing is sixty percent ergonometric.

The Ersatz cup's one-year parts each have a 90-day warrantee, backed by a statement from the manufacturer. The unit is fully assembled from over 50 die-cast metal and plastic parts.

One-hand operation is possible. The aft compartment deploys a multiphase sure-grip handle passively coupled to a quick-release wrist strap, with or without a patented intelligent status indication system. En masse, the AC adapter can be voice-activated via microchip. Optionally (except in California where state regulations limit ambient current) a dual-voltage 120/240V capability is provided.

The cup can be electronically calibrated in moments: simply press a few buttons. lift from the resting position, and microprocessors do the calibration. The mechanism is compact and lightweight. It is fully assembled from over 50 die-cast metal and plastic parts.

Amidships, the cup has a flex-mounted solid-state temperature sensor that takes precise digital readings in degrees Centigrade or Fahrenheit. The slim, lightweight design allows for one-hour assembly with wrenches provided. Below decks, a pair of hydraulic cylinders and scratch-resistant crystal lens cover timer (with day, date, month) / stop-watch, countdown timer, and alarm. It is is fully assembled from over 50 die-cast metal and plastic parts.

The concept is a design asset. It is sculpted and non-allergenic, and fully assembled from over 50 die-cast metal and plastic parts.

The cup exceeds and diminishes all standards.


© Copyright 2003 Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

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